|Using LEDs based on its third-generation silicon-carbide manufacturing platform, that Cree calls SC3, the company's engineers have designed and constructed a retrofit lamp that achieves 170-lm/W efficacy. Cree, at this point, isn't entering the lamp market but will channel the development work in LEDs, optics, drivers, and thermal management into its solid-state lighting (SSL) products.
To put the efficacy achievement in perspective, consider that the US Department of Energy (DOE) L Prize competition won by Philips only required efficacy above 90 lm/W. That said, the L Prize also required a warm color temperature, and that always comes with a penalty in efficacy. Cree didn't specify the color temperature of the concept lamp, but it's likely on the cool side.
This isn’t the first time that Cree has produced concept lamps. Back in January of last year, the company demonstrated a lamp design that at the time it said could meet Energy Star requirements for a 60W-equivalent design. That was before any such commercial products were on the market. The design used an inner remote-phosphor optic combined with an outer white diffuser. Later last year, Cree showed a concept lamp, similar in look to this latest development, that achieved 152 lm/W in efficacy.
The new concept lamp delivers 1250 lm, consuming 7.3W. To confirm the performance, Cree had independent lab OnSpeX test the product. The design uses Cree's TrueWhite technology to achieve 90 or better CRI.
"The technology embodied in the new 170-lm/W concept LED bulb is enabling us to develop higher-performance and lower-cost Cree LED luminaires," said Nick Medendorp, vice president of research and development at Cree Lighting. "By pushing the limits of what is possible, Cree continues to strive to develop new technology that uses less energy and provides unmatched light quality and value to our customers."